Among several easily found studies on line, researchers from the University of McMaster have found that that 1 minute of all-out high-intensity interval training provides the same health benefits or even better than 45-minutes of some other mildly intense fitness regimen (or just about anything else you are doing!). In case you haven’t heard of it before, high intensity interval training (or HIIT) is a type of workout that alternates short bursts of exercise (typically called a sprint) with light exercise such as jogging or walking (or rest). This type of exercise has been used by professional athletes to improve their power and speed for years (probably since there were professional athletes), since the high intensity training simulates actual competition. Most recently, however, science is proving it to be successful at improving fitness and health more than just about any other traditional exercise routine you’re used to doing (unless, of course, you’re used to doing HIIT!).

The Science Behind It

What science is showing is that we don’t have to run for half an hour or even an hour to get better health benefits. They are continually presenting findings that show even just as little as 1 minute of tiny bursts of exercise is not just a quicker route to better fitness, but perhaps a key to long-term health, an important nuance that seems to have gotten lost in all excitement about high-intensity interval training in general. That is, here at Beat Strong Fitness & Nutrition, our belief is that perhaps the greatest benefit to group interval or HIIT training is the overall benefit to your total health – not just your midsection.  Admittedly, those types of long term gains come from more than a single minute of activity, but still, the point is that if you are adopting HIIT routines as a focus for your overall health, then the studies are saying you’re choosing wisely.

The 1 Minute HIIT Study

But we digress. Back to the science. In this article published by the New York Times, the researchers recruited a group of 27 men living a sedentary lifestyle. These people are later split into three groups, and some were asked to perform a three weekly high-intensity continuous training with sprint intervals for 12 weeks. The third group served as a control group with no exercise at all. The high-intensity training involves three 20-second all-out sprints, two minutes of warm-up, cool down for three minutes, and two minutes of low-force cycling in between sprints for a quick recovery. After the 12 weeks, the results were equal among all the men doing the high-intensity training. The interval between the training (sprint interval) helped to improve the insulin sensitivity and endurance by 20 percent, boost oxygen consumption in the men’s muscles, and also boost energy production.

Not Just Sprinting

It was explained that the 1-minute high-intensity training principles could also be applied to other forms of exercises – like climbing stairs during your lunch hour – not just sprinting. And, again, the long-term health implications are significant. So much so that the age old problem of “I don’t have time to workout” is fading just as fast as traditional (non HIIT) workout routines. With the 1-minute high-intensity training (ok, ok, technically, 8 minutes total), you can get fit and improve your health in less time compared to the traditional approach.

The Results

And if the upshot of this research is improved fitness and health after just three months of 1 minute interval training, imagine what your life might look like with a year or, even better, with interval training as not just a season of your life, but just as much a part of it as eating and breathing.  That’s our goal at beatStrong.  We’re here to empower individuals to adopt a new way, a better way, of living that doesn’t just change their physical appearance for a season, but their overall health for a lifetime.

Not sure where to begin?  Contact us and we’ll help you get started.

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